Friday, 4 May 2018

Garden inspiration: Bold Park

Well, I'm in Perth Western Australia and have been exploring the vegetation in Bold Park, one of the local nature reserves located on the dry sandy coastal plains of the region. It is a very long way from the Illawarra. And the soil and conditions are very different too: limestone soil rather than clay or sandstone, and a dry Mediterranean climate that is tough on many plants and keeps maximum tree height well below that of the mighty Blackbutts and Red Cedars. 

Yet there is a surprising amount of similarity when you cast your eye around. Eucs of course are ubiquitous. A walk in Bold Park turned up a range of other familiar-looking plants. Few of these would grow well in Wollongong, but for the dreamers, here are some familiar, beautiful or just plain interesting species. 
One of the most spectacular local Banksias
is the Firewood Banksia (B. menziesii).
Both the foliage and the flowerheads are
stunning, and they grow so well here! 
Another local banksia, Acorn Banksia
(B. prionotes) is also spectacular, though
this photo doesn't do it justice. 
Parts of Bold Park are blanketed in a sedgy-looking plant that was very familiar to me from years of living round here, but I'd never known what it was. Turns out it's Coast Sword Sedge (Lepidosperma gladiatum), but much sturdier than the Lepidosperma species characteristic of the Illawarra!
A swathe of Coast Sword Sedge growing happily at
Bold Park. 
Now this one's definitely confusing for the uninitiated. I figured it was a peculiar grass and turned to Facebook for help. Had a few suggestions but I'm still none the wiser. Any ideas?
A beautiful and unfamiliar plant, but one that would
make a great accent plant if I could work out where and
how to grow it. And what it is!
This is more like it! A Zamia Palm! This species
is Riedle's Zamia (Macrozamia riedlei), quite
similar to the local Burrawang (M. communis).
This Saltbush would look very at home in an
Illawarra garden. It's Rhagodia baccata, and
Illawarra hosts the related R. candolleana. 
And finally, a truly inspirational WA plant, known mostly for its pendulous growth and pretty pink flowers, the Silver Princess (Eucalyptus caesia subsp. caesia) is grown in gardens and on verges around Perth. For mine, its most distinctive feature is its bark, which has distinctive long stripes of pinks, browns, reds, greens and oranges. 
The pattern formed by bark on the Silver Princess
Gum is known as minni richi, with lots of small
curling pieces that split away from the trunk.
Some of these species would do well in the Illawarra - the Silver Princess Gum is surprisingly common around the place. Are you growing Perth plants at your place? How are they going? 

No comments:

Post a Comment